Film & TV

Student Session: Breaking Down a Script - Part 1

Samuel L. Jackson

Lesson time 15:24 min

Sam directs student actors in a workshop, and the first scene on the docket is the iconic diner scene from Pulp Fiction. In this lesson, Sam helps them break down the script to gain a deeper understanding of the characters’ intentions.

Samuel L. Jackson
Teaches Acting
One of the most successful actors of our generation teaches you how to elevate your acting.
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All right, all right. Good morning. Hey. Good morning. Good morning. How you doing? So thank you guys for being here. I'm glad you made it. Thank you for participating in this with me. New experience for me-- I never criticize people outside my own house. So this is going to be a whole new experience, just discussing it and seeing how it all rocks out. So everybody happy? Nervous? Yeah. Both. No, we're good. Why? Why? There's no judgment here, I mean, real judgment. A bit-- a little judgment. Yeah, a little bit. Yeah. But it's nothing to be nervous about. It's just another day, another great acting opportunity. This is what you want to do. You want to be actors. And every acting opportunity is a blessing. Every opportunity, every audition is a chance to go in and prove to somebody that you're good at what you do. And the level of confidence, the level of proficiency that you know you have-- exhibit it. Never think about getting a job or getting it right. Get it the way you wanted to do it when you go in there so that you show the best part of you. We're going to do this iconic scene from Pulp Fiction, which just happened to be the first thing we shot when we made this movie. This was the first scene that we did. An interesting piece of trivia that I don't think a lot of people know-- in the original script when this scene happens, there was a point where I closed my eyes and I shot Tim through the table and shot Honey Bunny off the bar. And when I opened my eyes, they were still there, because that's what the old Jules would have done. Oh, yeah. yeah. Ah. Quentin didn't shoot it, because he said, now if I shoot it, I'll use it. And I can't stand how you do it-- So there's all kinds of things that should have been shot that were in the script. But that's just stuff. I just put it in your head so I could just kind of see what you'll do with that, knowing that that should have happened here, didn't happen here, whatever. OK. And go ahead. Woo hoo! Let's knock it out. All right. Let's jump at it. [INTERPOSING VOICES] We have our coordination together? You want to practice pushing that top down and pulling that gun up at the same time? Mm-hmm. All right. So we start here? Have it turned around and open like that. So we're starting-- So we're starting with me here. Have it turned around and open. And she's asking-- Goddamn it, what is it? Let her go. Let her go. I'll blow your fucking head off. Tell that bitch to be cool. Say bitch, be cool. Say bitch, be cool! Baby, be cool. Honey Bunny, be cool. Tell her it's going to be OK. Promise her. I promise it's going to be OK. Tell her to chill. You got to chill the fuck out. Chill out. What's...

Get into Character

As a kid, Samuel L. Jackson stuttered so badly that he stopped talking for almost a year. Today he’s one of the world’s most successful actors, with roles in over 100 films, including Pulp Fiction and The Avengers. In his online acting class, the Oscar-nominated star shares how he creates memorable characters, powerful performances, and a long-lasting career. Learn to master auditions, analyze scripts, and find the truth in every role you play.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Learnt a lot from Sam, he lives to act,humility has kept him going, my ideal too.

I have learned what it takes to be an actor. His skill, proficiency and acting skills are indeed worthy of being called one of the greatest actors there is.

Sam's advice is practical, not just for actors but for any career that involves relating to and dealing with people.

I really enjoyed SLJ's matter-of-fact style approach to acting, it's sort of how I've always felt I approach it, but I've read books that made me feel like I was wrong to approach it that way. SLJ made me feel validated. Also I just loved his attitude and how non-judgemental he was. Great course!


Maudwanda S.

Samuel Jackson really knows how to get into character and make it believable!

Blair B.

I learned from watching Samuel Jackson do the lines, but I did not learn from the students.


that black dude acted the best, dude actually acted kinda white vincent like

Chava G.

Every chance you get to prove you know what you are doing, just go ahead and do it. Thank you Mr. Jackson, for showing the method to acting magic that has opened over 100 films for you. When I do it, I am going to do it cool!

Jeff C.

Why are they doing a scene from his movie 🤦‍♂️. If you do a scene from a famous movie, you’re going to naturally copy that performance. Do a scene from a play


Didn't get the purpose of this video. It's not the lesson at all, looks more like a demonstration of process.

Robert A.

Wow I can barely find the words for this one. Learning so much great things. Thank you Sam!!!. Onward!!!

The Fool

Try it at half speed, at least the scene bit. It's got almost a soap opera feel. It also gives you a chance to read the subtitles and try your best to do that Ezekiel 25:17 part as you get right into the deeps of the scene. By the way here's that quote in case you want to practice it with your hair dryer or phone in in your hand while threatening yourself in the mirror. Or as one of those 'let's say our prayers' moments before tucking in the kids. Ezekiel 25:17, Pulp Fiction Edition: The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee. Something I'm recalling that is different from Samuel L. Jackson portrayal in Pulp Fiction and how he plays it here is in the movie he did a lot of talking through his teeth, a locked jaw ready to fight kind of primal thing. In this video he's more at ease, kind of story telling. It must be weird to try to play a badass and teach at the same time without totally leaving your students terrorized by you.


Sam as Jules... Priceless. Valuable feedback on the student session. Good class.

Jonathan S.

I didn't get the feeling that either of the women were as nervous (or attentive) as they should have been with the guns out. It's like when I watch a scene where someone is driving and talking to someone else, and they're not looking at the road. Knowing that they're not really driving (or that traffic is cleared because they're making a movie) takes me out of the scene.